Virtually 50 years later, the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences is formally apologizing to Littlefeather for the mistreatment she skilled throughout her speech and within the years to observe.
“The abuse you endured due to this assertion was unwarranted and unjustified,” former Academy president David Rubin wrote in a letter to Littlefeather. “The emotional burden you could have lived by means of and the fee to your individual profession in our business are irreparable. For too lengthy the braveness you confirmed has been unacknowledged. For this, we provide each our deepest apologies and our honest admiration.”
In a press release, Littlefeather referred to as the upcoming occasion, throughout which she’ll obtain the apology in particular person, “a dream come true.”
“Concerning the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are very affected person individuals — it is solely been 50 years!” she stated. “We have to hold our humorousness about this always. It is our methodology of survival.”
A number of Indigenous artists will carry out in the course of the occasion for Littlefeather, together with Hen Runningwater, co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance, and Virginia Carmelo, a descendent of the Tongva individuals who will lead a land acknowledgment.
“It’s profoundly heartening to see how a lot has modified since I didn’t settle for the Academy Award 50 years in the past,” Littlefeather stated.
Her speech earned boos and applause
When Brando received finest actor for his starring position in “The Godfather,” he was absent. In his stead, he requested Littlefeather, then an actress and activist, to attend the ceremony — and to refuse the award on his behalf.
After the ceremony, Littlefeather stated she was “silenced” and struggled to seek out work within the movie business. She devoted a lot of her profession post-Oscars to activism and founding performing arts organizations for Indigenous actors.
Regardless of the condemnation she acquired from some in Hollywood who disagreed along with her defenses of Native People, Littlefeather stated she acquired reward and help from leaders like Coretta Scott King and Cesar Chavez.
“I knew I had finished the fitting factor,” she advised A.Body.
Correction: This text has been up to date to notice that David Rubin is the previous president of the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences.